Robert E. Acuña’s review published on Letterboxd:
'Thor: The Dark World', 'The Incredible Hulk', and unfortunately, 'Eternals'. The trifecta of Marvel Studios meh.
I went into this as open-minded as possible, and now that the credits have rolled, I can honestly say this is one of the weakest Marvel Studios films ever made.
Now, this isn't a review that will bash this into the ground. Instead, this is a unique situation compared to both 'Dark World' and 'Hulk' because the issues plaguing this film are far from being dull, in fact, it is a bold and worthy risk.
This film struggles under the weight of its scale. A world-ending plot is way too massive for an origin story. I've barely connected to these characters and you're trying to convince me they'll save the universe? Hold your horses.
Another unique issue is its strange direction for the actors. A-lister Salma Hayek, indie superstars Barry Keoghan & Ma Dong-seok, and relative newcomer Lia McHugh give stilted & wooden performances. It's strange considering the caliber of their work and shouldn't be an issue for the monolith that is Marvel Studios, and yet it is.
The actor who was robbed the most was Angelina Jolie. I can't believe Marvel Studios hired one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood...to...do...nothing.
Then there is the pacing. This film had no right being as long as it was. I think it would have been wiser to save this kind of runtime for crossover films like the 'Avengers'. This had too many scenes that drag or serve very little purpose.
Also are you excited about exposition? Because you're going to get a ton of exposition and explaining. Loads of it.
So if you're still reading this, let's talk about the things I loved.
The cinematography is gorgeous and feels the most grounded a Marvel Studios film has ever felt. Chloé Zhao shot this as if it were an indie film and it makes this feel grander than your typical superhero film.
The villains, while basic, were beautifully designed and played their parts well.
Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Lauren Ridloff killed it. They sold their performances so exceptionally well and deserve a much better movie for it.
Harish Patel was so adorable and I loved every line he spoke. Too cute.
Kit Harington was in this very sparingly but damn is he charming as hell. Excited to see more of his character in the future.
Overall, it's not the disaster that critics have claimed it to be but it truly is the messiest Marvel Studios film to date.